If I was creating my dream kitchen, it would include lots of simple white subway tiles with black grout.
Quite frankly, I could probably cover every wall in my house with white subway tile and black grout and be happy. I have a problem.
But that’s not what this post is about.
You see, in our kitchen, there are some things standing in the way of a pretty white-subway-tile-covered wall. Namely, the texture – at some point someone got the grand idea to cover the walls in the kitchen and every bathroom in our house with a strange, splotchy texture that is so ugly it confounds me than anyone would ever choose it. In order to install tile, we’d have to scrape that texture off the walls and start from scratch. And, let’s be real – I’m not doing that.
I love DIY, but I just don’t have the time/energy/patience/willpower. Not. Gonna. Happen.
So, since our dream of white subway tiles wasn’t going to become a reality anytime soon Corey and I decided to go a different route. When my mom offered up some beadboard that they had leftover from renovating my grandmother’s house, we jumped at the chance. I had plenty of people look at me kind of funny for saying I was going to install a beadboard backsplash in my kitchen (including my husband, let’s be honest), but I knew it would look fabulous so I stuck to my guns.
And boy, am I ever so glad I did.
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Y’all, this project is so affordable, so simple, and so gorgeous.
Let’s talk details.
How to Install a Beadboard Kitchen Backsplash:
- Interlocking pine beadboard planks (enough to cover whatever square footage you need)
- Trim (whatever style you like, for finishing off the edges)
- I use this brand exclusively
- Paint roller + paintbrush
- This is my favorite paint brush
- White paint
- Nail gun + nails
If you’re new around these parts, let me show you what that wall used to look like:
That lone little cabinet sitting on the wall all by itself has bothered me since the day we moved into the house. It made the room feel smaller, it looked strange all by itself, and I knew it had to go. When we painted the cabinets we chose to leave it alone, knowing that we would eventually get rid of it, which meant that it stuck out even more.
So, I don’t think I need to tell you that when it was time to finally take that cabinet down I was practically doing a happy dance. The room looked better pretty much the second we took it off the wall.
The installation of the beadboard was very straightforward – Corey started by drawing a level line across the top of the ceiling (just in case the ceiling wasn’t level which, of course, it’s not) and then we nailed in the boards across the top row.
We decided to go with a staggered look similar to how you would install flooring – the top row started with a 32″ board, then the next row started with a 16″ board, and the third row started with a 24″ board. Then, we just repeated the pattern all the way down. This keeps the seams from looking too uniform and helps your eye to skim right over them.
To install the boards, we just used a nail gun to nail them into place – the boards interlock as you go down (similar to wood flooring), so it’s almost like putting together a puzzle.
Once the boards were completely installed, we moved on to installing trim.
For the edges (both sides, top, and bottom) of the backsplash, we installed a simple trim piece that’s about 2″ wide. Corey cut it at a 45-degree angle on the corners so that it fits together nicely. We also replaced the trim pieces under the windowsill and the bar with something a little more simple than what was there before.
For the windowsill, we got some corner trim to hide the edges. It was so fun to watch it all come together as Corey put the trim in, because it helped the whole thing feel so much more put together!
Once all was said and done, the fun part started – caulk and paint! I caulked all of the seams, the nail holes, and a few wonky places where our wall was warped and let it dry for about 20 minutes. Then, I painted. Some of our boards were already primed (we got an assortment from my mom), so that made the job a little easier. It took me one coat of primer and two coats of paint (left over from painting the cabinets) to get it completely covered.
Oh, and while I was at it, I decided to go ahead and paint the kitchen to match the rest of our downstairs. The color is Olympic’s Flagstone (color matched to Lowe’s Valspar paint), and I still adore it after almost five years of living with it. I can’t believe how much it transformed the look of the whole kitchen – it feels so much more modern now.
The moral of the story here, my friends, is that even if people think you’re crazy for wanting to try something a little different in your home, just do it. Most projects like this are relatively low cost and don’t require a ton of time, so why not just try? I’m so glad we took a chance on this project and Corey can’t stop talking about how it transformed the entire feeling of the kitchen – it feels brighter, bigger, and more open now!
Oh, and I’m sure you’re wondering what in the world we’re doing with all of the dishes that were in that cabinet…not to worry, we have a plan. I’ll share our new, more modern solution for dishes storage (and filling up that empty wall) next week! Be sure to check back in so you can see, or you can always sign up for my newsletter below and never miss a post!